Last night Rhema shared her story with an audience of 300 people, primarily college students. She spent days typing her message. She used the text-to-speech app on her iPad. Last night she pressed the “Speak” button and the app spoke her words and were broadcast on a screen. It was such a special moment.
Here is her story in her own words:
My name is Rhema and I have autism.
One year ago I found my voice through pointing on my board. It was my only way to share the story of how God saved me and I am so happy to tell it to the world.
When I was younger I could not speak with my mouth but I understood everything. It was so frustrating to not be able to tell anyone how I felt. So I often hurt myself and did destructive things. It was a very painful time in my life. No one could help me so I was full of despair.
I prayed for help and one day God told me He someday would give me a voice so much bigger than anything I could imagine. Soon after that I was praying and thanking God for His promise to me.
One day my mother took me to Wisconsin to learn RPM and I knew this would be the way I would have my voice. My mother spent many months with me working until I could spell on my board.
Today I am able to say Jesus is my Savior and He is my hope. So much of my words really come from Him. He is my strength in my so weak self. And I boast in my really weak self so His power shines through.
This is my story.